The Feminist School of Masculinity
Domestic abuse is an issue that still affects numerous people every year, with approximately 70% of victims being women, and the vast majority of abusers are men.With its juxtaposing name, my final year project explores the concept of toxic masculinity being the root of domestic violence towards women. The school aims to create a safe space for abusers to acknowledge their toxic behaviour and follow a programme exploring physical, mental, and spiritual healing that will help them to grow into a healthier mentality on masculinity.
The proximity of the site to the Pankhurst Centre proved to be a challenge in terms of intruding on the safe space they offer to female victims of abuse, however it was also on opportunity to create a soft barrier by introducing a mini forest on the site, which added shinrin-yoku as a feasible part of the programme. In the 1980s the term shinrin-yoku emerged in Japan and it translated to forest bathing, which is a psychological exercise that encourages the practice of mindfulness through nature walking. This form of eco-therapy is proven to boost one’s mental wellbeing, as well as lessen symptoms of ADD and aggression. While walking surrounded by nature a soft fascinations occurs, providing the opportunity for self reflection to help recover from daily mental fatigue.
The theme of this project highlighted my interest in socially driven architecture, and a desire to push boundaries in order to address the real issues.